Gwynne Ann Unruh is an award-winning reporter formerly of the Alamosa Valley Courier, an independent paper in southern Colorado. She covers the environment for The Paper.


Albuquerque has great service industries that are the economic and cultural backbone of our community and we’re proud to support them through The Paper.’s Albuquerque’s Best Awards. Using their resources, skills, ingenuity and experience, these service providers have given our readers top-notch customer service which garnered them a top award from us. We recorded your seals of approval for the best place to get a facial or a massage, to where you should get your “do” done, maintain a gorgeous smile or pick up a new furry friend.

Albuquerque’s Best Services GOLD goes to Betty’s Day Spa with three first place awards – Best Spa, Best Massage and Best Cosmetic Spa. Woo Hoo Betty!! Hats off to you and your great therapists.

Best Spa

The mission of Betty’s Bath and Day Spa is to provide an oasis in the desert that attends to the duality in us all, a synchrony of the mind and heart, body and soul in perfect harmony. Betty’s is well known for their outdoor salt water hot tubs, massage and facials.

1. Betty’s Day Spa

2. Remedy Day Spa

3. Green Reed Spa at Sandia Casino Hotel/Hacienda Spa at Los Poblanos

Best Massage

Betty’s Day Spa offers massage with muscle and joint relief cream infused with six pain-relieving herbs like arnica, ginger and broad-spectrum organic hemp CBD. Combined with hot towels and their therapists’ expert ability, you will leave feeling relaxed and renewed. Specially trained therapists offer massage for expectant mothers, emphasizing back strain relief and foot rejuvenation on a table designed just for pregnancy.

1.   Betty’s Day Spa

2.   Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine

3.   Eric Revels

Best Cosmetic Spa

Betty’s is known for its outdoor salt water hot tubs, massage and facials.  Betty’s Day Spa in Albuquerque’s tree-lined and peaceful North Valley neighborhood remains true to its original concept: to provide Albuquerque residents and visitors with a relaxation and wellness retreat in a professional, welcoming, and friendly spa setting.

1. Betty’s Day Spa

2. Laru Ni Hati

3. R&W Day Spa

Best Yoga Studio

Whether you are an experienced practitioner or just beginning your yoga journey, the staff at Blissful Spirits believes that yoga is for everyone and welcomes people of all ages, fitness levels and health statuses. Their facilities have showers, changing rooms and yoga supplies. They also offer private individual and group instruction. 

1. Blissful Spirits Hot Yoga

2. High Desert Yoga

3.  Mi Vida Yoga

Best Waxing Salon

European Wax Center is all about helping you feel empowered through services like body waxing, eyebrows waxing, Brazilian waxing, bikini waxing and leg waxing. Guys, they’re not just there to help out the ladies. Their experts in waxing provide male waxing services so that you can experience tamed brows, smooth chests, and the confidence to be your authentic self.

1. European Wax Center

2. Brazilian Waxing Boutique

3. Pretty Pum Pum/ RW&CO Day Spa

Best Hair Salon

Rockit Hair Studio ABQ has a warm and inviting atmosphere where clients can relax and escape from the stresses of life. Located in Nob Hill, their stylists specialize in both natural to extreme cuts, color, extensions, and they have recently added facial waxing. They feature environmentally safe hair care products and all natural bath & body products.

1.   Rockit

2.  Central Park Hair Studio/ Laru Ni Hati

3.  Collage

Best Barbershop

Since 2004 the vibe at ACE Barbershop is relaxed and friendly and it feels like a great blend of hip and classic. They offer clients a haircut, head shave, buzz cut, fade, heavy or light beard trim and a face shave. Every month they feature a new artist and display their art on the walls accompanied by an art opening.

1.  ACE Barbershop

2.  United Studio Nob Hill / Zeke’s Classic Edge

Best Acupuncture

Be Happy. Be Healthy. Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine designed their Nob Hill Clinic based on their award-winning Santa Fe facilities! Now voted Albuqerque’s 1st Place Best Acupuncture, and Top 3 Best Massage! Their classic building was lovingly renovated and features 6 deluxe treatment rooms, and courtyards with flowing fountains, and plenty of parking. Clients can schedule appointments in Acupuncture, Primary Care, Annual Physicals & Prescriptions, Medical Massage, Homeopathy, Herbal Medicines, Colon Hydrotherapy, Botanical Skincare, Aesthetic Injections and more!

1.  Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine

2.  East West Acupuncture

3.  Weeks Integrative Medicine

Best Chiropractor

Blue Sky Chiropractic offers gentle chiropractic adjustments. They take the time to listen and involve you in your individual treatment goals. They help you retrain movement patterns with simple exercises that you can do at home. Work can address shoulders, necks, low backs, knees, hips, ankles, elbows, feet, upper backs and headaches. They also provide cutting-edge sports treatments in a relaxed, non-competitive environment.

1. Emily Blair, Blue Sky Chiropractic

2. Beau Hightower /Brian Dickert, DC /Blessing Chiropractic

3. Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine

Best Dentist

Dr. Armand Giannini Jr, DDS provides non-invasive, reasonable, thorough and gentle dental services. He specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the teeth and gums. He provides advice on proper brushing, flossing, cleaning, healthy gums and other dental care. Beautiful office, very courteous staff and excellent service.

1. Dr. Armand Giannini Jr.

2. Jason Ross

3. Anthony Nieto

Best Plastic Surgeon

If you are looking to reduce facial wrinkles and/or skin around your eyes, Dr. Craig Vroman, MD at the Cosmetic/Eyelid Center at Eye Associates of New Mexico can help to revitalize or refresh the look of your skin and eyes. They offer surgical and non-surgical procedures and services that can bring back a more youthful appearance.

1. Dr. Craig Vroman, MD of Eye Associates of New Mexico

2. Dr. Jeffrey Morehouse, MD of Lovelace Breast Health Center

Best Tattoo Shop

Aces Tattoo offers clients a completely custom body art studio in a friendly, clean, inviting and professional space. For more than a decade, they have been creating unique tattoos for clients from all walks of life and support them in being proud to show the world who they are. 

1. Aces Tattoo

2. True Grit

3. All is One

4. Dark Mark Arts

Best Tattoo Artist

Self-describeddamn artsy fool” Flowerhead (Kat D’Orazio) didn’t really expect to end up tattooing. After getting a degree in dental hygiene, she figured that her basic medical knowledge would be useful in tattooing.  She dove in and hasn’t looked back. Her favorite styles to tattoo are watercolor/painterly, creepy and/or cutesy. 

1. Kat “Flowerhead” D’Orazio of Aces Tattoo

2. Johnny Mac of True Grit Tattoo/Delano Garcia of All Is One Tattoo

3. Ron Romero of A Touch of Ink Tattoo & Art Gallery

4. Osiris Keith of Milagro Tattoo

Best Piercing Parlor

At Evolution their motto is “Setting a Higher Standard” and they strive for that daily with each decision they make and every client they interact with. They offer the highest quality jewelry and safe, accurate procedures performed by highly skilled piercers to create a positive outcome for each client’s individual piercing experience.

1. Evolution Body Piercing

2. Factory Edge

Best Pet Hospital

At Aztec Animal Clinic, their mission is to improve the wellbeing of their patients, clients, staff and community. They offer veterinary services designed to encourage your pet’s overall wellness. The veterinary clinic provides high-quality and thorough pet care so your pet can have a long, healthy life with you.

1. Aztec Animal Clinic

2. Taylor Ranch Veterinary Hospital

3. Bolton Animal Hospital /Lomas Veterinary Clinic

4. Albuquerque Cat Clinic

Best Pet Rescue Group

Watermelon Mountain Ranch offers a variety of programs that benefit cats, dogs and humans alike. By opening their stores and adoption centers, they have been able to find forever homes for many animals as well as raise funds to keep their doors open. Their resale stores accept and sell donated household goods and gently used clothing. 

1. Watermelon Mountain Ranch

2. Animal Humane New Mexico


4. NM Animal Friends/ City Of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department/ Lap Dog Rescue of New Mexico

Best Photographer

Blue Rose Studios, Wedding Photographers in Santa Fe & Albuquerque, are a locally-owned wedding photography company serving all of New Mexico and surrounding areas.  They also specialize in engagement photography, family portraits, newborn and maternity photography, and more!

1. Blue Rose Photography

2. Pat Berrett

Best Hotel

Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town is a landmark luxury hotel offering accommodations and amenities, including on-site restaurant and bars, an outdoor resort swimming pool, a romantic wedding chapel, and more than 62,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space.

1. Hotel Albuquerque

2. Los Poblanos

3. Hotel Chaco Hotel

4. Andaluz Hotel

5. Parq Central

Best Credit Union or Bank

Nusenda Credit Union, around for nearly a century with all of the services a big bank has to offer, doesn’t nickel and dime you with unnecessary fees. As a not-for-profit, they pay back earnings to you with higher savings rates and lower loan rates, using the best tools to keep your money safe.

1. Nusenda Credit Union

2. Sandia Labs Federal Credit Union

3. US Eagle FCU

4. Rio Grande Credit Union